Monday, September 15, 2008

Shrink Rap Radio and the Prison Psychologist

The last interview Dr. David van Nuys did on Shrink Rap Radio was with Dr. Dana Houck. (And it needs to be said Dana is a man) Dana Houck has left his work in the Prison System, but he speaks with Dr. Dave about the ten year career he had as a prison therapist.

Houck invested his time in doing dream work with the inmates and he successfully managed to set up groups in which the convicts discussed their dreams. In addition he let them work with myths, legends and fairy tales. Houck could report some beautiful cases of prisoners opening up and gaining insight through his methods. He also did some counting and thinks the men he had in therapy had a strongly reduced chance of recidivism. Yet, he eventually left the system, becasue he was not allowed to continue working with his familiar methods, but rather had to follow the methods prescribed by the management.

The interview gets particularly interesting and surprising when Houck relates his explanation of the tale of the Three Little Pigs. He hastens to say that this is not exactly 'The Disney Version'. Not only are there some apparently unsavory elements cut from the story, but also, the deeper meaning is about integrating the shadow side of man into his whole person. For his detainees, as much as for anybody else, I venture, this is a valuable lesson. It is a typical example of what outstanding quality Dr. Dave can extract from these interviews.

More Shrink Rap Radio:
The humane working place,
Nirvana and the Brain,
Psychoanalysis - Shrink Rap radio review,
Conscious Living,
The Happiness Hypothesis.

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